Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Cliffs Have a Way

You are playing with a rubik's cube half looking out the window.
"Is that the van? No. Clearly not. Nearly 12:00."
Waiting for a phone call, a white van or a blue car becomes an activity in itself.
How clearly I see you there as a bird drops in on the feeder.
The bird alerts the sensor and a pic is snapped.
You are digging up beetroots in the garden
thinking you might hear the doorbell if you leave the windows open;
Thinking you might bring the beetroots when you next come by.
There's a bonfire for the weeds.

Backing up to get in the seascape and falling off the cliff,
the tourists just become another statistic.
Sometimes, they slip. Sometimes the wind blows them off. And sometimes,
they just get too close to the edge looking after their PR and stretching out for that perfect facebook profile pic where they lose their selfie stick. It's now floating in the sea decomposing with the salt water and being bashed against the rocks. It will take a long time, years for the selfie stick to decompose. Fish will swallow bits of it and it will clog up their insides and cause them early deaths.
The rest of the family: they will sigh when they think of Ireland.

The tourists, that last photo cut their holiday short and ruined the rest of the summer
for their friends and family.
The cliffs have a way of doing that to people.
They lure you in with their majestic dangerous beauty.
Because thousands of feet have trodden along these trails that edge the sea,
one thinks that one innocent selfie right on the edge might be alright for a few seconds.
But it's not.

The cliffs divide people into two camps. It is easy to spot which camp one is in just by noting the behaviour. I am a risk taker in some ways and not in others. There are times for caution and this was one of those times.

There are the cautious people who feel sick even watching the risk takers walk along the edge just inches from an 800 metre drop. The risk takers sit there photographing themselves on a thin slab of stone that could break off at any time into the sea. The cautious life-valuing people weigh up the thrill they will get from walking just inches from the edge of the cliff against the price they might pay which is clearly your life. If you fall from there, you don't break a finger or a bone. You lose your whole life and your camera phone too. They choose the more inland path that is about eight feet from the edge. The danger there is more about getting your sweater caught on the barbed wire or getting an electrical shock if you touch the fence as there are sheep there who know better. Or, if you are like my son, you will intentionally shock yourself a few times after realising that the fence has an electrical current. And if you have his enthusiasm, you will get other people to try it, so that soon, there is a whole crowd of fools touching the fence to see how powerful the electrical shock is and then videoing it as it's just that entertaining.

No comments: